Strong Is the New Skinny

Follow Me on Pinterest I got the memo:  Thin is out. Strong is in! 

Cam's A-Rod Arms

Women sporting muscles and curvier figures are now becoming the new “it” girls. As a more muscular woman, I love that  skeleton-chic a la Victoria Beckham, LiLo, Nicole Ritchie, Megan Fox and Kelly Ripa are no longer thinspirations for millions of women.

I don’t care what the celebrity rags say is “in” or “out,” I just want a diet and lifestyle that’s healthy and helps ensure that I can be active for years to come. You don’t need to be ripped to be healthy but we also don’t think starving and living with hunger pangs  24/7 seems like much fun—nor is it good for you.

Since I feel like I was born bigger than most of Hollywood’s leading ladies, I’m digging the new attention given to women sporting muscles.

Some of the sportier, muscular celebs include Cameron Diaz, Fergie, Gwen Stafani, Mel B and Elizabeth Shue. Women rocking muscles and curves are not only devoted to working out, they also—egads!—eat real food.

The rest of us seem to be getting it as well.  A recent poll among women found that the majority wanted to have bodies like Jennifer Anniston or Kim K. and fewer than 10% wanted to look like the pencil-y Kelly Ripa.

I have to thank women of CrossFit and P90x as well as celebrity trainers like Jillian Michaels and Jackie Warner. These women are showing all of us that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes and we can make the most of ours by paying more attention to what we’re eating and how much we’re moving.

Skinny is not healthy.  Starving yourself thin is a losing proposition because all that happens is your metabolism continues to slow down with the decreased muscle mass, and you have to eat less and less with each passing year just to maintain your weight.

As someone who works out a lot, I agree that being a strong, athletic women boosts overall self-confidence. Sure, I’ve not been able to fit into many dresses, dress shirts and jackets because of my upper body muscles, but I’ve never thought of it as a negative. I also realize I’m never going to have a butt like Jillian’s, abs like Jackie or Cam’s arms.  I’m eating right, working out and as long as I’m seeing progress, that’s all that matters.

In: Fergalicious

Let’s all start to embrace what is God-given and make the most of our assets. There’s always going to be someone richer, thinner, blonder and smarter, so stop comparing yourself to others and begin to take stock in yours truly.  A little bit of muscle can  do a lot to lift sagging self-confidence.

Remember, like the women of CrossFit say, “Strong is the New Skinny” or “Strong is the New Sexy”.  I’ve got my T-shirt that says so. Get yours.

Crossfit WOD

If I’ve inspired you enough to try a little Crossfit WOD (aka workout of the day), here’s one of my favorites that I do when I’m traveling.

10 Rounds of:

10 Push-Ups (If you can’t do guy’s type push-ups, do them on your knees but keep your body tight, no “snaking” your body.)

10 Sit-Ups

10 Air Squats (Keep feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward, with butt back, squat down with weight in your heels. Your hands can extend upward as you descend.)

–Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD





  1. Lisa says

    Great post! I was just having this conversation with my trainer after reading an article in the NYT about self-esteem and diet and body image. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. says

    Amen. All for strong versus bony. My only issue is the “strong’ celebs like Cameron Diaz are still very skinny, no cuves on that woman (though her guns are impressive). Great website.

  3. Diana says

    Great Article! I used to strive to be thin (never happened) but it was always skinny that I wanted to be. However, this last year I have changed my way of thinking and living and now concentrate on being healthy and fit. If the scale doesn’t read the number I want it to, I don’t stress b/c I know that I am a much healthier person and have gained weight with my workouts, yet my measurements are down. And most importantly I feel better than ever!

  4. says

    I’m a CrossFit trainer in Waco,TX and absolutely love it! I workout everyday and eat all the time, Paleo/caveman way of eating of course! But I love the article and couldn’t agree more, women with a little bit of muscle is a beautiful thing, after all, Strength is Beauty (another CF shirt!) :)

  5. says

    Curvy figures have come and gone through time. Marilyn Monroe was considered to have the perfect hour-glass figure (36-24-36). But her curves were not “strong” curves. First Lady Michelle Obama has made strong arms a thing to be admired. How encouraging to think that strength will become the new fashion because muscles burn more calories. Americans might end up with better figures just because they became strong.

  6. Sakura Cusie says

    I’m so happy many are waking up to being a beanpole is not sexy & unhealthy. Being thin and weak is not attractive nor good for self esteem or focus, concentration and encouraging your self you can push yourself and getting that self satisfaction


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